Chinese trade negotiators suddenly canceled a visit to meet U.S. farmers after they wrapped up trade talks in Washington this week.Marketsread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
President Trump also said he is "not looking for a partial deal" with Beijing, moving away from his suggestion last week that he would consider an "interim deal."Politicsread more
Progress on trade talks will determine how far market will move above new highs.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
"Sure, the trade war's taking its toll on business ... it's just not taking its toll where it was supposed to," Jim Cramer says.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump Friday to release the transcript of a call with a foreign leader that is the subject of a whistleblower complaint. Biden described...Politicsread more
For investors taking a breather from the chaos in August, buckle up as the market is about go crazy again, Goldman Sachs warned.Marketsread more
Palantir Technologies is targeting a valuation of at least $26 billion in a private fundraising round, the first for the Peter Thiel-backed data analytics startup in four...Wall Streetread more
Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker linked to Steve Bannon, saw at least $1.6 million in donations from his nonprofit sent into the coffers of his independent production...Politicsread more
The New England Patriots released Antonio Brown just 11 days after signing the wide receiver. The NFL Super Bowl champion team initially had kept him in the face of a rape...Sportsread more
A tour bus carrying Chinese-speaking tourists crashed near a national park in southern Utah, killing at least four people and critically injuring up to 15 others, authorities...U.S. Newsread more
The digital economy is set to unlock tremendous economic value for countries over time. But a common setback for the use of various new technologies is their vulnerability to hackers.
That's because companies and individuals are not taking cybersecurity seriously, according to Erik Brynjolfsson, director at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a professor at MIT Sloan School.
The threat of cyber attacks "can be addressed much more effectively than it has been," he told CNBC's "Street Signs" at the annual Barclays Asia Forum in Singapore. "I think we're just not taking it seriously enough."
Brynjolfsson was commenting on the news that a Google bug exposed the account information of 500,000 users, spurring the tech giant to make a slew of privacy changes and shut down the Google Plus service for consumers.
"The story here isn't really about Google, it's about our atrocious cybersecurity — not just in social networks, but in banking or voting systems," he said. "Whenever I talk to the real cyber experts, they tell me the lights are blinking red, that we're so vulnerable, and we need to do a lot more to make our information system secure."
There have been numerous incidents in recent years where technology companies suffered breaches that resulted in user data getting compromised: Uber was fined for a 2016 data breach, Facebook recently discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, and the personal information of millions of Americans was affected in a data breach at credit reporting firm Equifax last year.
Combating cyber threats "boils down to prioritizing at a higher level," Brynjolfsson said. Some of the fixes are straightforward: For example, he said, two-factor authentication might prevent unauthorized logins and machine-readable paper ballots could make voting systems more secure.
"These small additional steps, they may slow down some of the processes incrementally, add a little bit of cost, a few percent here and there, but they'll make us tremendously more secure," he said.
In cybersecurity, he explained, using publicly available cryptography is usually more secure than proprietary systems that are built for specific companies — that's because the former is extensively tested by the cryptography community.
Digital economies are set to grow as companies spend more money to transform their businesses using technology. International Data Corporation said that in 2018, worldwide spending on digital transformation will shoot past $1 trillion.
Cybersecurity challenges aside, there are plenty of benefits in a digital economy, according to Brynjolfsson.
Artificial intelligence, for example, can make the world more interconnected and specific developments in areas of vision systems, speech recognition, decision-making about credit or hiring are creating plenty of opportunities, he said. Still, it will be a challenge for society to help workers who lose their jobs to automation transition into new roles, Brynjolfsson added.